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Wednesday, February 10


“Do not be quickly provoked.”
Ecc 7:9 NIV

YOUR ANGER IS DOING DAMAGE

Angry outbursts are destructive in all relationships, especially in your home. Children are the most vulnerable to parental anger, and they mirror their parents’ behavior. We shape our children’s destiny by our words, behaviors, and attitudes, and if they’re raised in a home that’s consistently high-volume, they’ll react similarly. Your actions are training your children to be hysterical and violent. Soon everyone will be overreacting, flying into fits of rage, and attacking one another. When you exhibit tantrum-like behavior you’re acting out of a selfish need to get what you want, when you want it, in the way you think you ought to have it. Please—for your family’s sake—start acting like an adult; exhibit self-control. “Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb 6:12 NKJV). Notice, you must have faith and patience. You may not be able to control what happens in life, but you can certainly control your reaction. Whether it’s the anger a father brings home from the workplace, or a wife’s anger toward her husband, it can bring a curse. Simeon and Levi harbored anger in their hearts and became vicious and vindictive murderers. Because of this, a curse came upon them, and the anger was passed down from generation to generation (See Ge 49). You must break the curse by resisting the temptation to let anger dictate your behavior. In the words of James: “My dear brothers, take note…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (Jas 1:19-20 NIV).

Thursday, February 11

“Your Father knows exactly what you need!”
Mt 6:8 NLT

HOW TO PRAY

Jesus said: “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (vv. 7-8 NLT). When people say, “I don’t know how to pray,” what they usually mean is that they don’t know how to pray like us. They don’t know how to use our “Christian jargon.” Jesus says you don’t need to worry about getting the words right because “your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.” God’s listening to our hearts more than our words. We don’t have to be self-conscious; He’s not grading us on how well we express ourselves. Compare prayer to breathing. You breathe instinctively without awareness and conscious attention; it’s a natural expression of our moment-by-moment dependence on oxygen. That’s how God wants us to engage in our communication with Him. He wants to be the air we breathe and the environment in which we live. Edwin Keith said, “Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the Spirit of God.” Through prayer we can live in continuous contact with God. Jesus said, “Pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you” (v. 6 TLB). Prayer isn’t a public demonstration of how spiritual you are. Communication with the One we love calls for getting alone with Him, away from interruptions and distractions. It’s about you and your Father having an intimate talk.